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Businesses across the globe face the growing challenge of workforce retention and boosting employee engagement, while at the same time staying focused on results. Keeping employees happy while holding them accountable seem like mutually exclusive goals, but not according to David Hassell.

Motivate your employees without carrots or sticks with these tips ((Image: Shutterstock)

Hassell is the CEO of 15Five, a leading employee performance management software company that has grown considerably over the past five years by creating a culture that focuses on granting trust, being transparent, being willing to be held and hold others accountable, and embracing freedom and flexibility. He believes when you build an environment where people have the space to be their best selves, they are self-motivated and accountable. He shares five tips on how create that type of environment in your company.

  1. Fear Doesn’t Motivate

Some leaders equate accountability with micromanagement. They think the only way to ensure results is watching employees like a hawk. But that command-and-control style of management produces fear, which never results in true accountability, Hassell says.

“Intimidation doesn’t solicit authentic accountability, and any sense of responsibility born of fear won’t last long. Sure, people will get their work done, but it isn’t self-motivated. They’ll only perform to the point where they won’t incur your wrath,” Hassell explains.

Intimidation also stifles creativity in the workplace. Hassell says while an employee who is worried about his or her performance may strive to do better, they’ll also be stressed out and frustrated from perpetual fear, which “locks up the flow of creative ideas and lowers motivation.”

Employees should be committed to their jobs from a place of desire, not fear. “Fear can motivate, but it will never inspire people to be more engaged and show up as accountable, reliable people,” he adds.

  1. Trust Your Employees&nbsp;

One way to ensure you’re not leading with fear is by trusting your employees. Trust is the center of accountability and the core of a healthy company culture. It leads to self-motivated engagement, instead of fear-driven motivation. Somestudies show more autonomy leads to better employee performance.

“As the leader of an organization, your primary job is to communicate the vision, give people the information, tools and resources to march toward it, then get out of the way,” Hassell shares. “Not only will getting out of your staff’s way allow them to be as productive as possible, it will also allow you to focus on your responsibility to drive the company forward strategically.”

  1. Set Clear Expectations

The workplace moves quickly today, and employees can become confused by changing priorities and goals. It’s difficult to hold workers accountable if you don’t clearly explain expectations and update them regularly as projects and responsibilities shift.

“Without well-articulated goals, employees quickly get frustrated, and frustrated employees stare longingly at the exit sign,” Hassell explains.

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Businesses across the globe face the growing challenge of workforce retention and boosting employee engagement, while at the same time staying focused on results. Keeping employees happy while holding them accountable seem like mutually exclusive goals, but not according to David Hassell.

Motivate your employees without carrots or sticks with these tips ((Image: Shutterstock)

Hassell is the CEO of 15Five, a leading employee performance management software company that has grown considerably over the past five years by creating a culture that focuses on granting trust, being transparent, being willing to be held and hold others accountable, and embracing freedom and flexibility. He believes when you build an environment where people have the space to be their best selves, they are self-motivated and accountable. He shares five tips on how create that type of environment in your company.

  1. Fear Doesn’t Motivate

Some leaders equate accountability with micromanagement. They think the only way to ensure results is watching employees like a hawk. But that command-and-control style of management produces fear, which never results in true accountability, Hassell says.

“Intimidation doesn’t solicit authentic accountability, and any sense of responsibility born of fear won’t last long. Sure, people will get their work done, but it isn’t self-motivated. They’ll only perform to the point where they won’t incur your wrath,” Hassell explains.

Intimidation also stifles creativity in the workplace. Hassell says while an employee who is worried about his or her performance may strive to do better, they’ll also be stressed out and frustrated from perpetual fear, which “locks up the flow of creative ideas and lowers motivation.”

Employees should be committed to their jobs from a place of desire, not fear. “Fear can motivate, but it will never inspire people to be more engaged and show up as accountable, reliable people,” he adds.

  1. Trust Your Employees 

One way to ensure you’re not leading with fear is by trusting your employees. Trust is the center of accountability and the core of a healthy company culture. It leads to self-motivated engagement, instead of fear-driven motivation. Somestudies show more autonomy leads to better employee performance.

“As the leader of an organization, your primary job is to communicate the vision, give people the information, tools and resources to march toward it, then get out of the way,” Hassell shares. “Not only will getting out of your staff’s way allow them to be as productive as possible, it will also allow you to focus on your responsibility to drive the company forward strategically.”

  1. Set Clear Expectations

The workplace moves quickly today, and employees can become confused by changing priorities and goals. It’s difficult to hold workers accountable if you don’t clearly explain expectations and update them regularly as projects and responsibilities shift.

“Without well-articulated goals, employees quickly get frustrated, and frustrated employees stare longingly at the exit sign,” Hassell explains.

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